The Wolverine - Review
The Wolverine – July 26, 2013 (8.5/10)
The Wolverine is a surprisingly good movie. After the disaster that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I thought solo X-Men movies were a big waste of time. But not only is this a great stand-alone film, it also sets up the next installment of the franchise. But to give you some perspective, this movie takes place after X-Men: The Last Stand.
The Wolverine works because the focus is on The Wolverine. What a concept?! The movie serves two purposes: 1. To make up for X-Men Origins: Wolverine and 2. To set up Wolverine for the new movie X-Men: Days Of Future Past. But the real winner of this new film is the story. It’s simple, yet beautifully designed from start to finish. Well, almost finish.
Wolverine saves a Japanese soldier during a nuclear blast in WWII. This solider, Yashida, becomes obsessed with Wolverine’s ability to heal himself and spends his entire life trying to find the secret. Wolverine is then summoned to Japan to say goodbye to the now old and dying Yashida. But when he gets there, Wolverine finds himself surrounded by danger as he fights for his life. The story also includes the power struggles within Yashida’s family.
The action in the movie is also very well done. The violence is much darker and grittier than X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The breakthrough performance in this goes to Svetlana Khodchenkova who plays the villain, Viper. This role was originally set for Jessica Biel, but she dropped out and was replaced by Khodchenkova. This made all the difference in the world. Since Khodchenkova is relatively new, it made her character more authentic. Biel would have been an absolute disaster.
Overall, The Wolverine is a solid movie. Superhero or not, the story works and all the character’s motives make sense. It was also great to see The Silver Samurai because he was one of my favorite characters as a kid. My only problem with the movie is that the scenes between action can be a bit slow at times. Also, I’m pretty sure they made up some mythology about Wolverine. I’ll get into that in the spoiler section below. But I definitely recommend seeing this and be sure to stick around for a scene after the initial credits. Skip the 3D; it wasn’t anything special.
There are a few things that didn’t make sense to me about Wolverine’s powers and how they work. When Wolverine meets Yashida in Japan, he looks at the hospital monitors and sees a couple tiny robotic spiders working on Yashida’s heart. So initially, I’m under the impression that these spider things are keeping him alive. Later on, it’s revealed that one of those same robotic spiders was injected into Wolverine. But now they are preventing Wolverine from healing himself. So do those things keep people alive or stop people from healing?
Also, at the end of the movie, The Silver Samurai cuts off Wolverine’s claws leaving metal stumps at the end of his knuckles. Then The Silver Samurai uses screws to drill into the stumps and starts extracting Wolverine’s ability to heal himself. Then this turns Yashida (who is controlling the Silver Samurai) to become younger and healthier. So this would mean that Wolverine’s healing regeneration is stored in his claws. Which it definitely isn’t because he’s had that ability since birth.
Then on top of all of that, Wolverine escapes from those drills and uses his original bone claws again. But I thought that the metal in Wolverine’s body replaced all his bones. So how can his bone claws grow through the metal that is already in his wrists? So now it looks like Wolverine will have to go through another procedure in the next movie to get his metal claws back. Or he’ll just use his bone claws? There is some gap in logic here and just makes things a little more complicated for the next movie.